Time to take it to the next level!


Hola chicos y feliz viernes :)

This week I spoke with 2 students about their frustration of being stuck  in a mid intermediate level and not seeming to be able to get into a high intermediate level.  This is incredibly common, so I would like to give you insight into this phenomenon.

From the time that you start to learn a language as a beginner, to the time you get into a mid intermediate level, you are pretty much a student of the language.  When you’re looking to move into a high intermediate or advanced level, although you remain a student by definition, your focus needs to be more on learning on a deeper level.  Many students get stuck in their routine and don’t venture out of their cave.  For example, if you’re doing DuoLingo at a B2-B2.5 level, it is not going to help you get into B3.  It will help you improve your grammar & vocabulary a bit, as well as to help you maintain what you have learned, but it will not catapult you into the next level.  To advance into a B3 or C1 level Spanish class, you will need to dig deeper.

Here are a 3 things that you can do:

1 – Journal.  As often as you can, sit down and write about your day.  Don’t write about basic things that happened, write about things that impacted you.  Part of being ready for a high intermediate level Spanish class is being able to communicate your feelings, something that is a challenge in a foreign language.  This would be the time to start practicing.  It is especially helpful when your have a strong feeling such as anger, confusion, surprise, concern, happiness, joy, excitement, sadness, anxiety, courage, empathy, passion, etc.  Mad at your boss?  Write about it!  Falling in love?  Write about it!  Pissed off at #45?  Write about it!

2 – Listen to native speakers on the radio, television, through podcasts, whatever you prefer, but absolutely make sure that you are taking time to listen to native speakers talking at a “normal” pace.  It may feel uncomfortable at first, and you may not understand every word, but this is the only way to improve this skill.

3 – Listen to or read the news in Spanish.  If you find it too depressing, read articles in the Lifestyle or Fashion sections.  The news will help you expand your vocabulary tremendously and this is the level in which to do it.  Up to a B2 level a lot of what you should be able to do well is chit chat.  Now to get into a B3 level, you should be able to talk about other things going on in the world.

So which one will you be adding to your routine?